An alternative, more expensive, late abortion drug is prostaglandin.

It is not free of dangers to the mother, being associated with risks of haemorrhage, infection and retention of the placenta requiring surgical intervention. Prostaglandin causes powerful contractions of the womb expelling the fetus, and usually killing him or her in the process, although in some instances babies have been delivered alive as a result.

In later abortions, doctors inject a further drug (such as the poison urea) into the womb, to ensure that the baby does not survive.